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Where Buffalo stands in the AFC playoff picture | Week 16

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver (91) and strong safety Micah Hyde (23) tackle Tom Brady during the Buffalo Bills vs New England Patriots game, December 21, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. Photo by Bill Wippert
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver (91) and strong safety Micah Hyde (23) tackle Tom Brady during the Buffalo Bills vs New England Patriots game, December 21, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. Photo by Bill Wippert

Buffalo's loss to the Patriots did take away any opportunity for the Bills to win the AFC East, but Sean McDermott's group is locked into the fifth seed as the top AFC Wild Card team.

Five of the six AFC playoff teams are locked up, though there could be some movement among the division winners for the top four seeds based on how the last couple of weeks of games play out.

New England (12-3) in first-round bye position

The Patriots not only clinched the AFC East with their win over Buffalo, but they have a chance to secure a first-round bye. Their win coupled with a Kansas City loss would get them a much-needed first-round bye knowing how banged-up their roster is heading into the final week of the season.

They sit one game behind top seeded Baltimore (12-2) in the loss column. If Baltimore were to lose to Cleveland on Sunday, the Patriots are still unlikely to be motivated to pull out all the stops for a victory in Week 17 against Miami. That's because the Ravens would have the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Patriots by virtue of their head-to-head win over New England earlier this season if they finished with the same won-loss record.

Houston (10-5) takes the AFC South

With Houston's victory at Tampa Bay on Saturday the Texans clinched the AFC South title, improving their record to 10-5. Currently the fourth seed in the AFC, they could move up to the third seed if Kansas City loses on Sunday night to Chicago.

That's because Houston has the head-to-head tiebreaker victory over Kansas City following their Week 6 win over the Chiefs.

Kansas City (10-4) vs. Chicago (7-7), at 8:20 pm on NBC

The Chiefs will be motivated to get a victory to maintain their standing as the three seed in the AFC playoff picture. Currently a game ahead of the Texans in the loss column, a win over the Bears would keep Kansas City a game ahead of Houston heading into the final week of the season.

It would also keep them within striking distance of the Patriots with whom they have the head-to-head tiebreaker for the second seed and a potential first-round bye. A loss however, could drop them to fourth in the seedings.

Baltimore (12-2) vs. Cleveland (6-8), at 1 pm on CBS

The Ravens would clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory over the Browns on Sunday or a Kansas City loss. With a win Sunday, even if Baltimore lost in Week 17, they would still have the head-to-head tiebreaker over their next closest pursuer in the playoff seedings (New England).

Pittsburgh (8-6) vs. NY Jets (5-9)

The Steelers need a win to remain the sixth seed in the AFC playoff race. Nipping at their heels is Tennessee (8-6) though the Titans have a tall task on Sunday (see below).

Tennessee (8-6) vs. New Orleans (11-3)

The Titans need to win over the Saints on Sunday to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot heading into the final week of the regular season.

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